Privia Health is one of the fastest-growing medical groups in the United States with 2,500 providers and 3 million patients in 650 practice locations throughout Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Through partnerships with payers, employers, health systems, and other key stakeholders, Privia uses technology, team-based care, and unique wellness programs to keep people healthy, prevent disease, and improve care coordination both in and outside of the doctor’s office.
“We form high-performing medical groups in each of our markets and help providers succeed in their transition to a collaborative model of value-based care,” said Shawn Morris, CEO of Privia Health. “We deliver tailored solutions and transform the healthcare delivery experience through our proprietary technology platform, practice management, and care coordination capabilities to improve the health of communities we serve.”
Privia Health has utilized Google Workspace since Google launched its cloud productivity suite, formerly known as G Suite. Privia’s cloud-forward approach to technology is atypical in the more “legacy-minded” healthcare space, and is credited for its capability to scale at record speed. For instance, in 2019, the company partnered with a large Florida-based medical group and was able to seamlessly transition 5,000 users to Privia’s platform in a single day.
Privia Health engaged with SADA, the 2018 and 2019 Google Cloud Global Partner of the Year, to migrate from Google Workspace to Google Workspace Enterprise Plus to take advantage of additional workflow features and top-of-the-line security and management capabilities, including robust administration controls, Cloud Identity Premium, and Endpoint Management. SADA’s experience in the healthcare sector helped Privia ensure they configured and operate Google Workspace in compliance with HIPAA and security best practices.
“We are growing super fast,” said Chris Voigt, Chief Technology Officer, Privia Health. “We needed a partner that was on the cutting edge of technology. Even though we’re cloud forward, we can’t be behind in thinking about privacy, security, or hacks.”
Privia needed a creative way for its internal teams to utilize Google Workspace Enterprise Plus’ enhanced features and services while also keeping costs and the more limited needs of its providers in mind.
“We are trying to make the economics for independent providers work. They’re seeing declining revenues and reduced visits because of COVID-19,” said Paul Shenenberger, Senior Vice President, IT Operations and Chief Information Security Officer. “At the same time, it’s equally important that these providers have a secure collaboration platform that delivers on the promise of technology. To be more economical, we wanted to figure out a way for providers to be able to leverage valuable Google Workspace Business features while also deprioritizing the tools and features that they don’t use. Providers are not information workers; they’re focused on the electronic medical record. Unlimited storage isn’t a selling feature to them. It is also important that the tools we use embrace the consumerization of IT model to provide easy to use applications in the doctors’ hands that add new features as quickly as the consumer products.“
To maximize ROI, accelerate user adoption, and ensure that the newly implemented Google Workspace Enterprise Plus features would be used to their full potential and in accordance with best practices, Privia was also in need of customized training and change management.
“We wanted an experienced and trusted company that could provide all of that in a super elastic and flexible cloud environment. That is why we chose SADA,” said Voigt.
SADA was instrumental in the company’s shift to Google Workspace Enterprise Plus with consulting and migration services. In response to Privia’s challenge of enabling providers with robust security and collaboration features at a lower cost (and without the features Privia’s healthcare providers don’t need), SADA recommended the Google Workspace Business Deskless offering. This offering has the same features as Google Workspace Business, except storage is limited.
SADA’s change management and enterprise consulting teams conducted training sessions on the Google Workspace Enterprise Plus platform for the entire organization, detailing its features, functions, and workflow capabilities. In addition, smaller brown bag sessions provided education on improving productivity and collaboration within each department. SADA introduced the concept of empowering Google Guides – one for each team – to serve as team administrator. This has been incredibly successful and has helped Privia manage all the content that its teams organically produce.
“Our IT organization has really shifted into a mentorship role,” said Shenenberger. “We provide training programs, set standards, and put security controls in place, but it’s our Google Guides that understand their team’s workflow and make business decisions. This empowers our digital transformation, removes barriers traditionally associated with IT, and allows business to grow rapidly.”
The voluntary training sessions were well attended and brought the entire organization up to a common level of discourse regarding Google Workspace. “I know SADA’s training and their approach multiplied the excitement for this platform,” said Voigt. “Everyone realized there is a better way for us to work together and share information. It’s all in the cloud. It’s all secure.”
SADA helped Privia transition providers to the deskless licenses, delivering useful functionality at a fraction of the cost of traditional business licenses. “The fact that we were able to get those Business Deskless licenses for the providers, and Enterprise licenses for our corporate users and stay nearly budget neutral, was a big selling point in the start of our partnership with SADA,” said Shenenberger.
The Privia team found SADA’s change management and training services to be transformational. “Even power users like Chris and myself learned something in every class—a little tip here, a little secret there,” said Shenenberger.
“I was impressed with the number of people that attended the trainings. To me, that’s an indication that people saw the value in the time. I went to one of the training sessions, and throughout the rest of the day, while in other meetings, I’d hear things like, ‘Hey, did you see that thing they did in Sheets earlier this morning? I never knew you could do that!”– Chris Voigt, Chief Technology Officer, Privia Health
Most of Privia Health’s employees have embraced Google Workspace’s tools enthusiastically and are transitioning away from other tools like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. For example, the sharing of Microsoft Office documents has dropped significantly, and last month, Google Docs utilization company-wide was up over 76% and Google Slides utilization was up 92%. “It’s great when someone at Privia uses Google Slides to share information about the company, especially when conveying data that changes every day, like how many doctors we have. That slide is linked back to the slides that the marketing department curates, so everybody is using the most up-to-date information,” said Voigt. “We’ve all seen emailed PowerPoint decks with ‘Copyright 2017’ on the bottom. That doesn’t happen anymore.”
COVID-19 and the shift to remote work
A couple of big events happened as Privia Health was going through its Google Workspace Enterprise Plus transition. First, the company moved office space, consolidating unused offices to accommodate larger teams. During the relocation, Google Meet was implemented company-wide and Logitech’s pre-configured Meet hardware was deployed in every meeting room. With training and easy mass adoption, Privia was able to save costs on removal of Webex account licenses previously being used for video conferencing. Ensuring that everyone was comfortable utilizing Google Meet would prove to be fortuitous because, unbeknownst to anyone, the COVID-19 pandemic was right around the corner.
Just a few months after moving into the new space, the pandemic began. As organizations across the globe grappled with business continuity and the unprecedented shift to remote work, Privia Health was prepared with Google Workspace already integrated.
“We needed to be able to collaborate and transition to home-based work without any drag, and we were able to do that,” said Voigt. “With how SADA helped us set it up on Google Workspace and their change management services, going virtual with work from home was an easy transition – even for the doctors. Google Cloud is one of those really innovative companies that reached out to us asking ‘How can we help you?’ They accelerated their product roadmap and unleashed a whole bunch of neat Google Workspace and Meet capabilities that proved valuable as the bulk of Privia operations went remote.”
In response to COVID-19, a new market- and payer-based medical coding and billing workbook was developed by Privia’s staff and rushed out to all providers. In just a short time, the important document was viewed thousands of times by providers across Privia. “Before we did this project with SADA, we would have had no way to share a file, that is updated on a daily basis, except by email,” said Shenenberger. “Same story for nurses’ staff schedules. So, we’re utilizing this cloud platform, not just for our internal corporate use, but to better collaborate and communicate with our providers with information that changes on a minute-by-minute basis.”
SADA and Google Workspace Enterprise Plus have helped Privia Health to:
- Ensure business continuity during COVID-19 and the shift to remote work; at the time of this writing, Privia held over 6,500 Meets in the last 30 days
- Meet its security needs by implementing Google Cloud’s cutting-edge security and verification features
- Empower its providers by delivering robust security and collaboration features at a fraction of the cost of traditional business licenses
- Increase collaboration and information sharing internally and with outside providers
- Decrease usage of third-party tools as Google Workspace adoption continues to accelerate, resulting in more consistency and fewer issues with version control; at the time of this writing, Google Docs utilization company-wide was up over 76% and Google Slides utilization was up 92%
- Develop a COVID-19 medical coding and billing workbook that serves as a single source of truth and is scalable, user-friendly, dynamic, and shareable across its multistate network
- Make real-time updates to payer rules that are changing daily due to COVID
Privia Health is thrilled with the results, and the company’s IT staff is succeeding in transforming the organization and getting everyone on the same page. “We love working with SADA, and we love Google Cloud,” said Voigt. “Google Workspace is really impacting how people work together, how we share information, and how we approach productivity.”